is jamming live over the web possible, yet?

  • A friend and I had an ill-informed yet interesting conversation about this over the weekend. Basically our guesses boiled-down to "yes, but only with 2 people, and only with one person following the other, or both playing to the same metronome, but not hearing each other." We drew some diagrams and then gave up. Anyone know/study this?

  • depending on the speed of your internet connection, it is possible. although it would be hard to send pure audio over the internet (consider how long youtube or vimeo takes to buffer audio some times) it would be possible to send packets like osc messages over the internet.

    I haven't tried it so I don't know how well it would work. but I assume that if you set an application which can receive osc messages to listen to a host on the internet which is sending osc messages they should be able to control it remotely (as long as no firewalls are blocking them)

    still you would have latency issues since there is no quality of service controls on the internet, and it could be possible that some messages could be lost or dropped.

    but I guess to answer your question it is possible with osc, although I don't know how much latency would be an issue.

  • http://www.ninjam.com/ !

  • what visinin said.


    also, synthia does this at ucsc: http://danm.ucsc.edu/web/Synthia

  • I've definitely never heard about NINJAM before!
    Thanks for letting us know. I'll have to try and organize something with some friends to try it out.

  • With Ninjam you don't play stimultaneously.
    For example, you play in bar one, this is heard by a second person in YOUR bar 2.
    The second person then plays over what you played in bar 1, while you're playing in bar 2.
    I won't go in on how this works when you're in a room with multiple people because it hurts my brain.

    When you're busy it seems that you're playing "live", but that's only because you can't hear what the other's hearing.
    Mostly a GOOD jam via ninjam will be a simple chord structure OR soundscapes.
    The structure just doesn't allow for something more complicated.

  • "The NINJAM client records and streams synchronized intervals of music between participants. Just as the interval finishes recording, it begins playing on everyone else's client. So when you play through an interval, you're playing along with the previous interval of everybody else, and they're playing along with your previous interval. If this sounds pretty bizarre, it sort of is, until you get used to it, then it becomes pretty natural. In many ways, it can be more forgiving than a normal jam, because mistakes propagate differently. "

    This is similar to what we came up with in our brainstorm/diagram. You still have latency, but it's predictable and the same for everyone.

    Still interesting, worth trying out.

  • i remember seeing an ad for a show at Monkeytown, where one person was performing live in NYC, the other was live in Japan. they played over Skype. i've been told this is surprisingly good with a LAN connection.

  • Internet 2.0 - virtually zero latency, will allow allmost real time audio and video streaming and interaction...

    pretty much the future of internet...

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  • As it happens, the guys from SAT and Mutek are doing a live network-jam session between Vancouver and Montreal at the Cultural Olympiad this week.

    http://beta.mutek.org/blog/107-jamming-the-networks

    The crew in town from Montreal are friends of mine, and I've been helping out as a camera operator (really just an excuse for me to pick their brains about it). The system they're using has got down to about 30 ms latency, which is still too much to make for a really safe realtime jam. So they're going the one-bar-offset route as well.

    Mind you, they're sending multiple HD video streams too, which might add to the latency issue.

  • clearly you have never seen "the rocker."

  • Physics isn't entirely on our side. Light can travel (if it would bend) around the planet only 7.5 times in a secon. If you're jamming with someone halfway around the world, the latency can't be better than 1/15th of a second -- 66 ms, way too much for a good jam.

    Every 1862.82 miles adds 10 ms of theoretically-impossible-to-overcome latency. If you could keep the servers and relays from adding latency, jamming with people in the same state as you doesn't look so infeasible. But an LA to NYC jam would have almost 20 ms of latency no matter how good the gear was -- and 20 ms is basically a dealbreaker.

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  • seems like ninjam would work better if there was always like a designated "leader" of musical ideas or something

  • Any web chat website would work, you don't have to pick anything special. You don't even really need to send your raw audio over, just the main output from ableton or whatever should be jacked into your camera and sent to a web chat kind of atmosphere. Daniel Hunter, from the now-defunct electronic band PlayRadioPlay! played a live internet show this way. All he did was use stickam and a bunch of people watched.

    So if you wanted to jam with two or more people, then you could just set it up this way, where one person starts the feed that allows "viewers" to send audio as well.

    The only lame part of this strategy is that it might kill you CPU speed because your broadcasting and receiving live video and using the typical programs.